November 2003

Life Cycle Management
In the midst of a proliferation of global corporate activity, pharmaceutical companies have rediscovered the advantages of local product development

Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly pursuing a strategy of global centralization and control of development work in order to reduce complexity and to avoid the proliferation of a number of different products. Few companies currently maintain policies that allow local and regional initiatives to shape product portfolios to be better aligned with shifting local market requirements. Recently, we have witnessed several pharmaceutical companies rediscover the value of local product development. Faced with volume and pricing pressure, product innovation has proved to be the winning ingredient in extending the life cycle of many older products, which tend to channel a high contribution into a company's cash flow. This has strengthened our conviction that more, not less, regional and local adaptation is vital for a company's success. Interpharma Manufacturing provides services in specific areas of the pharmaceutical supply chain, including Product Development, Planning & Procurement (of production materials) and Manufacturing (of commercial goods). Product development encompasses a broad range of activities, from pre-clinical research to several clinical stages, through to scale-up and commercial manufacturing. Where then, do our activities commence and conclude within this complex field?

Interpharma Manufacturing's Product Development is defined by the demands of our clients, and by our own technical expertise and resources. The needs of our clients are driven by dynamic market forces, so it is critical for them to have a responsive product portfolio that ensures success in a competitive environment. This is particularly applicable to off-patent and OTC products, since it is here that through us, clients have the opportunity to introduce new products such as:

  • A new form of packaging - e.g. from glass to plastic bottle;
  • A new dosage form - e.g. a multi-vitamin in both liquid and tablet forms;
  • A line extension with enhanced formulation - e.g. better taste, increased potency or additional active ingredients.

Our expertise in meeting requirements for new products begins with our ability to take an existing formulation and then reformulate it in accordance with our client's instructions, or, to take an existing formulation that has not yet been commercialized, and either scale-up or locate and transfer it from a trusted third party.

For Interpharma Manufacturing, Product Development does not suggest groundbreaking formulation research and the conduction of clinical trials. It means taking an existing (tested or untested) formulation and developing it to meet the client's needs. In some cases, we work together with the research centers of North American or European pharmaceutical companies, who cooperate with our experienced staff and relatively inexpensive resources to redevelop formulations. There are always exceptions; however, we have been involved in projects wherein we designed the formulation from scratch - mostly for OTC products.

Our Product Development service generates significant value for our clients by means of quicker development time, which in turn results in earlier revenue generation as well as lower development costs. This affords the proactive management of the product life cycle, which is always a challenge in view of our region's ever-evolving OTC market and the shorter lifespan of patent protections for prescription drugs.

While innovative new products are globally important for our clients, established products are the ones that provide the steady cash flow with which they can invest in local growth. However, established products also require regular refreshing in order to stay abreast of the numerous challenges facing the industry in Asia.

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